Author(s): Fukushima Y, Kawata Y, Hara H, Terada A, Mitsuoka T
The anti-infectious effect of probiotics has recently been reported and one mechanism may be the non-specific stimulation of immunity. This study was performed to elucidate the influence of a probiotic formula on intestinal microflora and local immunity in healthy children. A follow-up formula containing viable bifidobacteria was given to seven healthy Japanese children (15 to 31 months old) for 21 days. During intake of the formula, the administered strain was detected in feces from five subjects (71%) and total fecal bifidobacteria slightly increased. Fecal levels of total IgA and anti-poliovirus IgA during intake of the formula were significantly higher than those before intake (P < 0.05). The increase in local IgA levels resulting from ingestion of the probiotic formula may contribute to enhancement of the mucosal resistance against gastrointestinal infections.